Top positive review
2,113 people found this helpful
An effective, clean-smelling, silent heater
on January 18, 2012
I own two Delonghi oil-filled heaters. I bought them a few years ago, used them intermittently, then put them in storage. When fuel oil bills skyrocketed, I brought them out to start using again.
What motivated me to start using them again was when bill for heating oil for my little house jumped to over $300 a month. Using two Delonghi heaters set on "low" for sixteen hours a day, it has dropped to less than $50. That's a $250 a month in savings, in the coldest months.
My experience has been that oil filled heaters work great, if you know how to use them. Oil filled electric heaters aren't just "plug and play." If you use them as recommended, they're powerful, economic and effective. If you don't, you'll have the problems people complain about in some of these reviews.
How to use 'em:
1) Always TEMPER them before use. A lot of people skip this step, but you shouldn't. To temper them, before using them in your house, plug them in OUTSIDE of your house, in a well ventilated area such as a shop or shed (or a basement, if you don't have a shop). Set the heat on "high" and turn the dial ALL THE WAY UP to the highest temperature. Then leave them for several hours. It's true that this will "waste" a little electricity. (Leaving it that way for 24 hours may cost you a couple of bucks). But it's essential to do this because doing so burns off the coating the manufacturers put on to prevent them from rusting in the warehouse.
The directions say to do this for "two hours or more." I've found that it takes anywhere from two to twenty hours to burn the whole coating off. Once it's gone, the smell is gone forever. IF YOU SKIP THIS STEP, your heater will smell bad in the house every time it gets above a certain temperature (and the coating starts burning off). People who complain about a bad smell are often unaware of this step, or haven't tempered their heater long enough. When it's done being tempered, the smell should be totally gone, absolutely no smell.
2) I had a friend who complained about how ineffective her heater was. It turned out she was trying to use it in a 400 square foot area, with the door open! And the area was uninsulated. And she was shutting it on and off to "save power." You have to use common sense. If the room is uninsulated, insulate it. If the door's open, close it. If it's too big, get two or three heaters. And don't shut them on and off.... leave the heater ON. See point 4 below.
3) Don't expect instant heat. Oil filled heaters are great at MAINTINING the temperature in a room, but It takes a long time for oil filled heaters to RAISE the temperature when the room is cold. (If you have central heating, turn it on in the morning for about 15 minutes to take the chill of off the air. Then turn it off and turn your oil filled heaters on for the rest of the day. If you don't have central heating, set your oil filled heaters on high for a couple of hours, then lower them to low once the place is warmed up.)
4) Once the room does get warm, leave the heater ON. My friend said she was shutting hers off after it got warm to "save electricity." Then she'd come back two or three hours later, find the room cold, and turn it on and complain because it took hours to heat the room up again. Don't do what she did. Don't turn it on and off, on and off. That's what the thermostat is for. To use the thermostat on any oil filled heater, turn the dial to the HIGHEST setting, wait till the room gets toasty, then turn it DOWN just till you hear a soft click. No further. After you do this, it'll come on whenever the room drops below that temperature, and will shut itself off when the room is warm. Using the thermostat this way saves electricity more effectively than you could, and maintains a warm room while doing so.
5) I've seen comments on these posting boards like:
"My heater had a bad smell for weeks." Of course it did -- you didn't temper it. It was burning off a little of the coating each time it got hot. Start over. Take it out to a shed or shop, set up on high heat, turn the thermostat way up, and temper it to finish burning it off. Then there will be no smell at all. (If there is, you may have an oil leak, in which case, yes, return it to the place you bought it. But this is usually not the reason for the smell.)
"I took my heater out of the box, turned it on, waited four hours and it barely got warm, so I shipped it right back to the manufacturer." My comment would be, you were thinking of it as if it were a little space heater, the kind that gets burning hot to the touch. That's not how oil filled heaters work. They WARM the air gradually. They take time, when the room is very cold. They're among the best ways to keep a room warm and toasty economically, when used correctly. But you have to learn how they work and don't expect them to be what they're not.
Give them time, and learn how to use them, use common sense, and oil filled heaters will keep your home balmy and warm, using minimal electricity, and there will not be any smell at all.